How to force Windows 7 to use the entire available RAM

It is a little known fact that Windows 7 doesn’t use the entire available RAM by default. For example if you have 8GB of RAM and a 64-bit Windows 7, it will use around 7.1GB of it (in the case of 4GB of RAM and 32-bit Windows 7, it will use around 3.5GB). The reason for this behavior is not completely known, but it is quite possible to alter it – to force Windows 7 to use all available RAM.
How do we do this? First, open the Start menu and enter msconfig in the start search box:

and hit Enter. The System Configuration window will open:

Navigate to the Boot tab:

Click the Advanced options button. A new window will open:

In the BOOT Advanced Options window check the Maximum memory option:

Click OK to close the boot options dialog and another OK to close the System Configuration window.
Restart your computer for the changes to take effect:

VN:F [1.9.18_1163]
Rating: 7.7/10 (6 votes cast)

How to backup and restore your MySQL database or table structure to in Linux

Whenever there is a database involved, an important task that should never be neglected is backing it up. In the case of MySQL on a Linux machine, backing up consists of executing a single command.
Backing up a MySQL database can be done with one simple command:

mysqldump -h <host> -u <user> -p<password> <db_name> > backup.sql

For example if you want to backup a local database called db1 using the user user1 with password pass1 you should write:

mysqldump -h localhost -u user1 -ppass1 db1 > backup.sql

The backup.sql file contains an SQL query for creating the exact same database. Restoring such a dump-file is just a matter of one command too:

mysql -h <host> -u <user> -p<password> <db_name> < backup.sql

Following the naming from our previous example will result in the following command to restore the database:

mysql -h localhost -u user1 -ppass1 db1 < backup.sql

In the perfect environment the backup should be created by a cronjob or anacronjob.
Another useful thing that one may want to backup is the table structure. For tables whose structure is relatively often changed this can prove to be very helpful. It is done by using one simple modification of the command for backing up an entire database:

mysqldump -d -h <host> -u <user> -p<password> <db_name> > backup.sql

Did you notice the difference? It is the -d option, which specifies that data should not be dumped. Using our previous examples this will be transform to:

mysqldump -d -h localhost -u user1 -ppass1 db1 > backup.sql
VN:F [1.9.18_1163]
Rating: 6.3/10 (3 votes cast)

Enable URL autofill in Firefox

A little thing that bugs me about Firefox is that when you start typing an URL in the address bar there is no autofill:

However, Mozilla have again predicted that I and other people will whine about that and have actually added this feature, but have disabled it by default. In this short tutorial we will show you how to enable it.
First, open Firefox:

In the address bar enter about:config:

Hit Enter. Firefox will warn you to be careful, as you are about to open the configurations to your browser:

Click the I’ll be careful, I promise! button. The configuration page will open:

In the Filter textbox enter autofill:

Here you can see the browser.urlbar.autoFill setting. It has the value false. Simply double-click on the row it is to change it to true:

Close the window and try to type an address in the address bar:

VN:F [1.9.18_1163]
Rating: 4.0/10 (3 votes cast)

How to forbid downloading files with Internet Explorer

Assuming that if a user of a given machine has chosen Internet Explorer as his/her browser, one can conclude that the user is not quite aware of hat he/she is doing. So just to be safe, it may be a good way to prevent the user from downloading any files from Internet if he/she is using IE.
Naturally, to force such a strange behavior we will use a good old registry tweak. First, we will open the Registry. Open the Start menu and enter regedit in the start menu searchbox:

and hit Enter. The Registry Editor will open:

Using the left-hand pane, navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\Zones\3:

Note: The next step is optional as the value 1803 may already exist.
On the right-hand pane click anywhere except the Name column and select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value:

Name the new value 1803:

Double-click on it and a window will open. Enter 0 in the Value data textbox:

Click OK and close the Registry Editor. To revert to your old settings simply delete the value 1803.
Note: This trick works for IE 6 through 9.

VN:F [1.9.18_1163]
Rating: 4.0/10 (2 votes cast)

Disable favicons in Firefox

Favicons are the little icons that appear on each tab in your browser. Although they can help you find which site you have opened in a given tab, when you have a lot of tabs opened, they can really, really annoy you if the site designers have decided that a blinking favicon is the way to go. That is why, Firefox allows users to disable favicons in a rather easy way.

Open Firefox and enter about:config in the address bar. Firefox will warn you that you can really mess things up if you are not careful.

Click the I’ll be careful, I promise! button and the configurations will open:

In the Filter textbox enter browser.chrome.favicons:

Double click on the browser.chrome.favicons preference to set its value to false:

Do absolutely the same for the browser.chrome.site_icons preference:

Restart Firefox and you are done.

VN:F [1.9.18_1163]
Rating: 7.0/10 (3 votes cast)

How to force the browser to reload CSS and JavaScript files

When editing the CSS and JavaScript of a site, there is a slight chance that the user may get the old versions, which at best will cause a lot of complains and at worst will cost you a lot of lost customers. The reason for this is that browsers cache static content like CSS and JavaScript. However, telling a browser to reload them is not that hard to do. All it takes is a little trick that will force our friendly browsers into thinking that the CSS and JavaScript are dynamic content.

Before we go on, let us take a look at how we specify the CSS and JavaScript to be used within HTML. Normally we have something in the line of:

<link rel="StyleSheet" type="text/css" href="/static/style.css">
<script src="/static/js/script.js" type="text/javascript"></script>

Where style.css and script.js are our files. Naturally CSS files are specified with the href attribute of the link tag, while JavaScript files are included using the script tag. Now, let’s take a look how we can make our browser reload CSS and JavaScript every time:

<link rel="StyleSheet" type="text/css" href="/static/style.css?version=15">
<script src="/static/js/script.js?version=15" type="text/javascript"></script>

“Now what is that “version”?”, you are probably thinking. Well it’s nothing. No really, it does absolutely nothing. You can use ?favouritesite=onlinehowto.net15 if you want. It would have the absolutely same effect.

“But what does it do?”, you are probably thinking. “This looks just like passing GET variables.” Exactly!

The browser cache uses a pretty complicated mechanism, but there is one thing that you should know for sure index.html?version=14 and index.html?version=15 are two different pages for the browsers, therefore it can’t rely on its cache, therefore it must get them again. But what happens on the server side? Well those arguments are ignored by our server and it simply supplies style.css and script.js.

Whatever language, technology, etc. you are using, you always keep a header file which is included pretty much everywhere so changing the version=<number> part after each revision is pretty easy. You can even make it a part of your site’s logic.

In conclusion, this trick may save you a lot of headaches related to cached CSS and JavaScript, and if you believe you may have some issues, we greatly encourage you to use it!

VN:F [1.9.18_1163]
Rating: 10.0/10 (2 votes cast)

Set different download locations for different filetypes using Opera

There is one thing about most browsers that really annoys me. It’s related to the download location. First of all it can take you half an hour to find how to change the default download location and after you find it you realize that you can setup only one download location for all types of files. Now this may seem a bit nitpicky, but when you download a lot files you certainly expect a little more sophisticated behavior from your browser. Of course you could always use a download client, but considering how advanced are our browsers it is kind of ridiculous to use such a client nowadays.

Introducing Opera’s download settings – a browser that lets users set their default download location for each filetype. In this short tutorial we will show you how to do just that.

First of all open Opera, click on the Opera button select Settings > Preferences:

Note: Alternatively, you can use Ctrl + F12.

A new window will open:

Navigate to the Advanced tab:

Select Downloads in the left-hand pane:

Here you can see a list of recognized files (listed with their MIME types) and the default download folder. However you can easily set a folder of your choice. Select a file type and click the Edit button. A new window will open:

Here you can directly choose the appropriate behavior for that file, including whether to be saved, opened with Opera, opened with a plug-in, opened with an application of your choice or saved to a specific location. To set a specific location for this kind of file, simply select the Save to disk radio button, check the Do not ask for folder, but save directly to option and choose the appropriate directory:

Click OK and click OK in the Preferences window.

VN:F [1.9.18_1163]
Rating: 6.7/10 (3 votes cast)

Enable on-demand tab loading in Firefox 8

Modern day websites and browsers are not very friendly to slow computers with little memory. However this is “by default”. There are a lot of fine tunings that you can make to a browser, which will improve its performance and your overall experience. One common source of badly utilized memory is all those tabs that you keep open from previous sessions instead of bookmarking them as Read later. But, Firefox 8 provides a mechanism for tackling exactly those tabs. Instead of loading them on startup, you can set Firefox to load them on-demand, that is, when you first click on them. In this short tutorial we will show you how to enable this feature in Firefox 8.

Open Firefox, click the Firefox button and select Options:

A new window will open:

Select the General tab:

In the When Firefox starts dropdown menu select Show my windows and tabs from last time. Also, enable the Don’t load tabs until selected option:

Click OK. Next time you reopen Firefox your tabs will not be preloaded.

VN:F [1.9.18_1163]
Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Checking the sites your computer is connecting to in Windows

Have you noticed a sudden drop of your Internet speed? A possible explaination is that some nasty program is doing things behind your back. Whether it is spyware, malware or adware you might have a serious case of unauthorized traffic on your hands.

But don’t worry, it’s quite easy to get a list of your connections in Windows. Such a list may turn quite helpful and may help you find some unknown applications are using your bandwidth for their dirty bidding.

Naturally this list will be generated through the Command Prompt. First, open the Command Prompt under Administrator Mode. To do that, open the Start menu, type cmd in the search box:

Right-click on cmd.exe and select Run as administrator:

The command prompt will open:

Enter the following command:

netstat -fab 5 > connections.txt

Now, before we press Enter, let’s take a moment to look what exactly are we doing here. First of all netstat is a command that generates a lot of useful information about your network status. Additionally there are several options we can add to our netstat command, some of which are:

 -f – for displaying the full DNS name for hosts on the other side of each connection. This makes the generated data a lot easier to comprehend.

-a – to put it simply this stands for “all”. As in “all connections and listening ports”.

 -b – to output the name of the application making the connection.

Alternatively to -f you can use -n to display only IP addresses.

Naturally, “5″ stands for how often do we want this information to be gathered. Finally, “> connections.txt” means that we want to output this information to connections.txt (so called piping).

So now that we now what we are doing, we can freely hit Enter.

Wait for a couple of minutes and press Ctrl + C to stop netstat. Now you can open connections.txt (which in our case is located in C:\Windows\System32  because we ran netstat from there) and see the activity of every application for the moment you started netstat, until you turned it off.

Note: This information may not be complete as we set netstat to update once in five seconds.

Note: This trick works on Windows 7 and Windows Vista. If you are still using Windows XP you need at least SP2.

 

VN:F [1.9.18_1163]
Rating: 5.5/10 (2 votes cast)

Make Windows remember your folder settings

How often has this happened to you? You have just set everything about a folder (View, Sort by, Group by, folder type, etc.) and a few days later when you open the folder all your settings are gone. Not to mention that it only takes one unmount and remount for a hard drive to reset its settings. Well, this is kind of annoying, isn’t it? Thankfully, this can be solved pretty easy with a little registry tweak.

First open the Registry Editor – open the Start menu, enter regedit in the Start menu search box, wait for search to locate regedit.exe and press Enter:

The registry editor will open:

Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell using the left-hand pane:

Note for Windows Vista x64 and Windows 7 x64 users: You should navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Wow6432Node\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\ instead.

Create a new DWORD key:

And name it BagMRU Size:

Double-click on it and a new window will open:

Choose Decimal base and enter something like 10000:

Click OK, close the registry editor and you are done.

VN:F [1.9.18_1163]
Rating: 9.2/10 (5 votes cast)